Italian phytoremediation project opens experiment site to visitors

March 14, 2002

Brussels, 13 March 2002

Researchers and policy-makers will soon have the opportunity to visit the site of a project, based in La Spezia, Northern Italy, on the use of plants to 'clean' land polluted by heavy metals.

The experiment site of the Phyles project, which aims to explore the viability of phytoremediation - an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective method of combating pollution by using plants to remove heavy metals from polluted soil - will be open to visitors by appointment from May to June this year.

The Phyles project is being funded under the Life-Environment programme of the Commission's Environment DG. It began in November 1999 and will continue through to March 2003.

The plant species chosen for the experiment are sunflower, maize and Indian mustard. Although it is currently estimated that it would take several decades to clean up the experiment site using these plant varieties, the forthcoming experiment season will explore ways of making the process more efficient.

For further information on the project work plan and results, please consult the following web address:

To visit the Phyles experiment site, please contact:

Stella de Robertis
Istituto di Cibernetica e Biofisica
Via de Marini 6
16149 Genova
Tel: +39-010-6475577

Dr Franco Gambale
Project Coordinator
Istituto di Cibernetica e Biofisica
Via de Marini 6
16149 Genova
Tel: +39-010-6475550

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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